Li Yingying leads China to 2nd straight win at Montreux Volley Masters
China's Li Yingying has proven yet again that she is the rising star of the Chinese national women's volleyball team.
At the famed Montreux Volley Masters in Switzerland, Li led China to their 2nd straight win in Pool A over European powerhouse Poland 3-1.
China took the upper hand early in the match with steady defense as the Poles were making mistakes. China once took a four-point lead at 9-5, but Poland soon regained composure under the leadership of opposite striker Malwina Smarzek. They rode that momentum and never looked back. Smarzek scored the last three points of the opening set which they won 25-22.
Li stood out for China in the second set. Several huge spikes from the 19-year-old left the Poles with no chance. Li continued to shine later in the set and helped China win it 25-17.
Poland then suffered another blow, as their coach Jacek Nawrocki got a yellow card for delay of competition. Unable to control his temper, the coach soon received another yellow card for protesting against the referee who gave a controversial point to China.
The incident took a toll on the Polish side. Unable to focus at the end of the set, star play Smarzek dumped a key serve into the net and Poland lost the set 25-22.
Li would dominate again in the latter part of the fourth set. And Poland could not come back. China prevailed 27-25 for a 3-1 victory, with Li contributing a team-high 23 points.
"First of all, we need to win two matches in the group stage to advance. In our first match against Japan, we found our form pretty late, and never built any momentum. After that loss, we had our backs against the wall, so we played point-by-point this time," said Li in a post-match CCTV interview.